September Birthstone: Sapphire

 

The traditional birthstone for the month of September is the stunning sapphire.

A form of the mineral Corundum; sapphires occur in most colours: green, blue, pink, purple, yellow, orange and colourless. The most commonly known (and perhaps the most popular colour of Sapphire) is a rich inky blue although some people prefer very dark blue (almost black) and others prefer lighter shades which used to be known as ‘Ceylon’ sapphire.  Corundum Group also includes Ruby which is essentially the same mineral.

More unusual varieties of Sapphire gems include the Padparascha ( A Sinhalese word for Lotus Flower or Nelumbo – the sacred waterlily  flower) with a lovely orangey-pink hue. Others include the Parti sapphires (from Australia) which feature split colour zones – green/blue, green/yellow.  Also growing in popularity are the Songea Sapphires from Tanzania often in very attractive rich orange and golden yellow tones.

Another fascinating variety of sapphire where layers within the mineral’s interior form a phenomenon called Asterism, an effect resembling a star which forms across the top of the stone, known as a Star Sapphire.